On the Role of Flash Floods for Dust Emission over North Africa: Alluvial Sediments acting as Dust Source
Abstract:Studies analyzing satellite dust products show that numerous dust sources are located in the foothills of arid and semi-arid mountain regions. There, alluvial sediments deposited on valley bottoms and flood plains are very susceptible to wind erosion and frequently serve as dust source.
This study focuses on the spatio-temporal distribution of dust source activation events over the mountain foothills and flood plains over North Africa. Satellite dust retrievals with sub-daily resolution such as from Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) and METOP A/B Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) instruments are used to identify dust source regions. Identified dust source regions are then linked to soil properties and land type classification data sets. Information on the mineralogical composition of transported dust inferred from IASI observation are used (a) to investigate the impact of different source geomorphologies and thus different radiative properties of airborne dust particles, and (b) to estimate the contribution of dust uplift from alluvial sediments compared to dust emission from non-hydrological sources. Ultimately, this study contributes to the understanding of controlling mechanism on the interannual variability of dust source activation and will improve current dust emission modules coupled to atmosphere models.